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Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitors


Updated January 21, 2013

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Definition: Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors (PDE4) are a class of drug that suppress inflammation by blocking the action of PDE4, an enzyme that is overproduced in COPD and asthma. It is becoming increasingly evident that inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, COPD included. These types of drugs are used in COPD patients who are resistant to standard treatment.

Types of PDE4's

Although a number of PDE4's have been developed, to date, Daxas (roflumilast) is the only medication of its kind approved in the United States (and several other countries) for the treatment of COPD.

Unlike inhaled bronchodilators, roflumilast is a once daily, oral medication that has been found to improve lung function in patients treated with salmeterol and tiotropium. It has also been shown to reduce COPD exacerbation in a select group of COPD patients.

Also Known As: PDE4, selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors
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